Librarians are Gold!

Let the Learning Begin…..

INF506 – Social Networking for Information Professionals

Part A –  Evaluative Report

The subject INF506 was designed to “provide a broad understanding of the concept, theory and practice of social networking technologies within the context of libraries and information agencies and the work of information professionals” (Hay et. al, 2013). The learning objectives of this subject have been met by using the OLJ to evaluate and reflect on relevant readings and learning experiences. The three blog posts that I have selected to best reflect the subject content and objectives of INF506 are:

The above three posts highlight and reflect on the main themes of INF506: managing change with Web 2.0 technologies and the professional practice of Library 2.0. Valenza (2009) writes a “teacher librarian position in the networked world is more of a moderator or coach, the person who can effectively interact with information and leverage it to create and share and make a difference in the community and beyond”. INF506 has encouraged and emphasized the critical importance for informational professionals to educate themselves and become active participants in a changing Web 2.0 world. Cohen (2006) suggests the following advice for teacher librarians to “focus on the attitudes that a successful librarians in the 2.0 world might possess”. Recognize change and become an active participant in moving forward by ‘working with colleagues to expedite our responsiveness to change” (Cohen, 2006).

Web 2.0 is an exciting time for technological change, it allows for a new breed of librarians who will be able to embrace change and extend their state of mind beyond the traditional library skills of cataloging into “experimenting and trying to find new ways to employ new tools in our libraries” (Harvey, 2009). A key point made by Schrier (2011) suggests “when done properly, a social networking program provides a way for digital librarians to develop rapport with users, extend general awareness of the digital collection”. This will establish the librarian as a knowledgeable, helpful, and easily accessible source of authoritative information regarding a given subject area. A Web 2.0 librarian will be better able to serve library users research needs and to improve communication by “providing resources and services that users want and need” (Cohen, 2006).

INF506 course participants were “encouraged to explore what it takes to become a social networking producer, rather than just a consumer” (Hay et al., 2013). That is adopting the approach of a social networker who creates content to share with others, rather than just a consumer (Utecht, 2009). Once teachers have “immersed” themselves in Professional Learning Networks and “evaluated” their networks they will progress through the immerging of Utecht’s ‘5 Stages of Personal Learning Networks Adoption’. As a result, teachers will then be more equipped to “help young people shift from being consumers of the internet to creators on the web” (Lamb, 2009).

Social networking sites assist users to see connections that are hidden in the real world. They assist users to “make the connections between people visible and help users get to their next destination e.g. new career, hobby, new partner etc. (Common Craft, 2007). According to McGuinness (2010) the most important reason for using social media in education is to “prepare students for careers that will require online proficiency and competency”. “Social Networks are now visited more often that personal email is read” (Chapman & Cameron, 2009).

‘INF506 Social Networking for Information Professionals’ provided many practical tasks and experiences to clearly illustrate the many educational and collaborative benefits of Web 2.0 social networking tools. The completion of the modules, assignments and OLJ assisted to develop a deeper understanding of social media tools by communicating effectively and working collaboratively with others. INF506 students used a range of technology tools, to develop their own capacity as social networkers, online learners and information professionals.


Chapman & Cameron. (2009). Social Networking design examples and best practices.

Cohen, L. (2006, November 8) A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Common Craft. (2007, June 27). Social Networking in Plain English. Retrieved from

Harvey, M. (2009). What does it mean to be a Science Librarian 2.0? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (Summer). Retrieved from

Hay, L., Wallis, J., O’Connell, J. & Crease, R. (2013). Module 3: Library 2.0 and participatory library services. Librarian 2.0. [INF506 Module 3.3]. Retrieved May 17, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website:

Lamb, A. & Johnson, L. (2009) Wikis and Collaborative Inquiry. School Library media Activities Monthly, Volume XXV(8), 1-5. Retrieved from

Schrier, R.A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: The digital library as conversation facilitator, D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8) July/August 2011. Retrieved from

Utecht, J. (2008, April 3). Stages of PLN Adoption [Blog post]. In The Thinking Stick. Retrieved from

Valenza, J. (2009, September 28). 14 Ways K-12 Librarians can teach social media [Blog post]. In Tech & Learning. Retrieved from

Part B – Personal Reflection

The subject content investigated and learning journey undertaken throughout INF506 has enabled me to think deeply and reflect upon my ideas about social networking. Harvey (2009) suggests teachers “should be a person who is experimenting with new technologies as they come along.” After researching, exploring and evaluating many new forms of social media I have furthered my knowledge and understanding of the educational benefits to people of all ages who immerse themselves in social networking environments.

I enjoyed the practical nature of this subject where I was able to trial and evaluate many different social media tools. Although I am currently not working in a school at the moment, I found this subject very useful to assist me in carrying out further research into social media tools that I could implement in the classroom when I begin my new position in August 2013. I investigated social media tools that were new to me such as Goodreads, Second Life, Facebook, RSS etc. and examined whether they would be successful to use in a middle school classroom to engage students and enhance their learning outcomes.

My new role will be Educational Integration Specialist in a middle school working with teenagers in Years 6-8. I will be using my newfound knowledge about social media tools gained throughout INF506 to implement social media tools that will engage students. My previous teaching experience is with primary age students where the terms and conditions of many social media tools are limited to above 13 year olds only. I am now looking forward to working with students who will have more access to social media tools in the classroom.

Hanson (2013) states, “integrating social media into
your work develops digital literacy, builds relationships, helps you meet teens where they are, and helps to provide access to information”. I agree with Hanson and can now see the many educational benefits from using social media in the classroom. I am grateful that I have completed INF506 and have had the time to experiment with many social media tools. I can now take this newfound knowledge to my workplace and assist other colleagues to implement social media tools that best assist students to effectively meet syllabus outcomes.

Another piece of advice that I will be able to take with me into my workplace is to understand the fears teachers have and then give them concrete examples of ways
to use social media in the classroom. Hanson (2013) suggests “modeling digital literacy practices for our school community” to support teachers using social media tools in practice. Fear of failure and lack of time to learn how to
use the tools are the factors that librarians think hold teachers back. Addressing these fears when talking to teachers will help to encourage them to introduce social media to their classrooms.

Hanson (2013) recommends “finding out what current research says about using social media with teens in school”. I took on board this advice throughout this unit and curated a collection of blogs and websites to find the best current examples of social networking tools for students and teachers. I created a new page on the social networking tool Scoop it! titled ‘Social Networking for Educators and Information Professionals’.

Utecht’s (2009) ‘Thinking stick stages of immersion in PLN’ is a model that I will be able to refer to in my new teaching role as I assist teachers expand their professional learning networks in an online environment.

“Goodreads has fast become one of the more popular social sharing sites on the web. Not only is their site every bookworm’s dream, but their ability to create a very social atmosphere is an enviable model for every online business” (NetHosting Releases Case Study on Book Recommendations from Goodreads, 2013). I thoroughly enjoyed implementing the Goodreads project as part of Assignment 1 in INF506. “To use these tools successfully with students, teachers themselves need to become confident with them” (McGuinness, 2010). I now have the knowledge and experience needed to model this social media tool to colleagues and will be able to support them when introducing Goodreads into the classroom to enhance literacy outcomes.

Another reason why I found the Goodreads project so interesting and worthwhile is that Goodreads “can last beyond the classroom and encourages reading far beyond the scheduled semester, grade and school life” (Crow, n.d.).

I agree that in a Web 2.0 world, “networking (or one’s ability to network) has become an important part of a Librarian 2.0’s professional toolkit” (Hay et al., 2013). I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to partake in INF506 and hence become better prepared with Web 2.0 technologies to implement as an ‘information professional’.


Crow. (n.d.) Making Reading Social. In Ms. Crow’s Digital Portfolio. Retrieved from

Hanson, A. (2013). Can we talk? How school librarians discuss social media with stakeholders. Young Adult Library Services, Winter 2013, 35-37.

Harvey, M. (2009). What does it mean to be a Science Librarian 2.0? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (Summer). Retrieved from

Hay, L., Wallis, J., O’Connell, J. & Crease, R. (2013). Module 3: Library 2.0 and participatory library services. Libarian 2.0. [INF506 Module 3.3]. Retrieved May 17, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website:

McGuinness, B. (2010). Applying social media in schools. Curriculum Leadership, 8(26). Retrieved from,32196.html?issueID=12201

NetHosting Releases Case Study on Book Recommendations from Goodreads. (2013). Retrieved from

Utecht, J. (3 April, 2008). Stages of PLN Adoption [Blog post]. In The Thinking Stick. Retrieved from


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